Free-ranging cow behavior pre and post-weaning

TitleFree-ranging cow behavior pre and post-weaning
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Winters C, Doniec M, Rus D., Nolen B.
Conference Name63rd Society for Range Management Annual Meetings
Date Published02/2010
PublisherSociiety for Range Management
Conference LocationDenver, CO
ARIS Log Number259264

The optimum husbandry of free-ranging cattle requires not only nutritional knowledge but also an understanding of how to manage and use behavioral information.  With the advent of global positioning technology (GPS) it is now possible to monitor animal travel with relative ease over extended periods of time without the observer influencing the observation.  Between March and April 2009 five cows in each of two similar large (³ 433 ha) arid rangeland pastures were individually monitored at a 1 Hz rate before as well as following weaning.  The ten cows ranged in age between three and fifteen years with six of the cows suckling male calves while the remaining four calves were female.  Accelerometer and magnetometer data used to quantify foraging and non-foraging behaviors together with animal travel will be discussed in light of directional virtual fencing (DVFTM) hardware and software that was used to obtain the data.